266874 Proyecto La Familia: The role of self and family acceptance on HIV sexual risk among Latino Immigrant MSM

Monday, October 29, 2012

Jorge Zepeda, LCSW , Director of Latino Programs, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, San Francisco, CA
Gabriela Alaniz, MPH , Center for Research on Gender and Sexuality, San Francisco State Unviersity, San Francisco, CA
Rita Melendez, PhD , Center for Research on Gender and Sexuality, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
Background: For Latino men, sexual contact with other men (MSM) is the most common HIV exposure. Due to language and cultural factors, Latino immigrant MSM may be particularly difficult to reach with traditional prevention strategies. “La Familia” is an HIV prevention intervention aiming to support this group around issues of sexual identity disclosure, family acceptance, and healthy coping skills in an effort to curb risky sexual behaviors that lead to HIV. It is an asset-based program designed to confront socio-cultural contexts of stigma around sexual orientation experienced by this group. Methods: “La Familia” is a group-level intervention for Latino immigrant MSM living in San Francisco. Participants (n=35) were recruited from support groups, cultural events, and nightclubs. The evaluation used quantitative (pre-, post-test) and qualitative (interviews, focus groups) methods to assess the impact of the intervention on HIV risk behaviors, disclosure, social support, resiliency and self-efficacy. Participants from La Familia were compared to participants attending a standard health program not discussing issues of sexual orientation and disclosure (n=13). Results: Reduced sex after use of drugs/alcohol, reduced use of sex as a way to feel less shame about being gay and increased disclosure to family was reported by intervention participants. Participants reported closeness with intervention group and experiencing a sense of family through their participation. Conclusions: Interventions need to address social support in guarding against HIV risk for Latino men. This project is a step towards decreasing HIV risk and ultimately, towards lowering the incidence of HIV among Latino immigrant MSM.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
Analyze the role of family acceptance of sexual orientation in reducing HIV risk-taking behavior. Discuss the importance of self-acceptance among Latino immigrant MSM. Identify the benefits of programs like La Familia to create intimate spaces and group support for self acceptance and reducing HIV risk.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Access to Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am PI on project and worked on project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.